OTTEY casts in bronze

What a way to end the year, Better late than never, a honour truely deserved. Former World Champion Merlene Ottey was during the week immortalised with with a 2.4m bronze statue in her native Jamaica.

Referred to by the IAAF as "easily one of the most decorated stars of world athletics", Ottey bronze likeness, erected at a cost in excess of JA$3 million (US$ 46,500), was unveiled in Kingston's Independence Park by no less a person than the Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

The 45-year-old seven-time Olympian first represented Jamaica in 1980, at the age of 20, taking 200m bronze. The oldest world athletics track medalist ever, anchoring Jamaica's 400m team to Olympic silver in 2000.

She's also the most decorated woman in Olympics or World Championships track and field, with eight and 14 medals respectively among her 35 major championship medals. She was a World Champion on three consecutive occasions, with relay gold in 1991, then 200m wins in 1993 and 1995.

Ottey now lives in Ljubljana and represented Slovenia in her seventh Olympic games in Athens 2004.

Meanwhile, her former Jamaican colleagues Beverley McDonald and Debbie-Ann Parris-Thymes have both announced their retirement from athletics.

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